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Prosthetic Arm Process: What to Expect

A prosthesis is an artificial device that is meant to replace a body part which may be missing due to a congenital defect, trauma, or disease. At Premier Surgical Prosthetic Center in Knoxville, we create and fit an artificial limb in such a way that it  suits the patient’s appearance and more importantly, his or her functional needs.

In practice there are four common types of prosthetic limbs. These are the below the knee (transtibial), above the knee (transfemoral), below the elbow (transradial), and above the elbow (transhumeral) prostheses. While Premier Prosthetic Center specializes in lower extremity prosthetics, we also work with upper extremity patients to restore mobility.


About Prosthetic Arms

When a part of an arm or all of it is lost due to an accident or trauma, its functionality is also lost. This makes a prosthetic arm a valuable device for an upper extremity amputee. While a prosthesis doesn’t have the full functionality of a biological arm, it is a useful device for those who have lost their upper limb. There are three types of upper limb fittings: body-powered, myoelectric, and hybrid system.

The body-powered system makes use of a harness with cables in order to move the prosthesis. It engages larger muscles in order to control the movement of the hook, hand, elbow, or shoulder joint.

It’s a different thing with the myoelectric system. In this system, the prosthesis makes use of the signals that muscles generate when they are used. Small sensors are used in the myoelectric system. These sensors play a role in amplifying the muscle signals in order to control different functions of the arm prosthesis.

The hybrid system is a combination of the body-powered and the myoelectric systems. An arm prosthesis with this system may have a myoelectric-controlled hand and wrist and a body-powered controlled elbow or shoulder joint.


What to Expect

Whether it’s an upper or lower extremity prosthesis, there are several stages involved from amputation to prosthetic fitting. Fitting for an arm prosthesis is will  done once the residual limb has fully healed and when  its size has been stabilized. In order to construct a well-fitting prosthetic arm, a cast of the residual limb is  created. This is important in the creation of the test socket.

The test socket allows the prosthetic team to come up with a prosthesis that’s highly customized for the patient. It is usually made from a clear thermoplastic which makes it easier for the team to see where the skin is coming in contact with the socket. After determining the right socket fit, the definitive socket is  created. Prosthetic parts are then attached to this socket.

The team at Premier Surgical Prosthetic Center works with you throughout every step of the prosthetic fit process. Our goal is to help you achieve your personal mobility goals. Learn how Premier Prosthetic Center can enhance your life by scheduling a free consultation with our experienced Prosthetist. Call 865-474-7096 today!

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